Helping a child develop reading skills is fun – but can be hard! Many students struggle with reading comprehension, which simply means understanding what you read; this may look like the student being unable to retell a story, or answer questions about what happened in the story (about characters, timeline, settting, plot, etc.). As a tutor or parent, asking questions before, during and after reading can drastically improve comprehension, but coming up with questions on the spot can be difficult!
Below is a list of possible questions you can ask during your student’s/child’s reading. They’re not intended to be used all at once, but throughout reading sessions.
Before You Read
Using pictures for discussion before reading and making guesses using prior knowledge is VERY IMPORTANT!
- Can you look at the pictures and predict what you think will happen in this book?
- What makes you think that?
- What characters do you think might be in our story?
- Do you think there will be a problem in this story? Why or why not?
- Does the topic/story relate to you or your family? How?
- What do you think will happen next?
- What can you tell me about the story so far?
- Can you predict how the story will end?
- Why do you think the character did __________?
- What would you have done if you were the character?
- How would you have felt if you were the character? (use different characters)
- As I read ________________, it made me picture _______ in my head. What pictures do you see in your head?
- As you read, what are you wondering about?
- Can you say what you just read in your own words?
- Can you remember the title?
- In your opinion, was it a good title for this book? Why or why not?
- Were your predictions about the story correct?
- If there was a problem, did it get solved?
- What happened because of the problem?
- Why do you think the author wrote this book?
- What is the most important point the author is trying to make in his writing?
- What was your favorite part of the story?
- If you could change one thing in the story, what would it be?
- Can you retell the story in order?
- If you were ____________, how would you have felt?
- What is the most interesting situation in the story?
- Is there a character in the story like you? How are you alike?
- Why did you like/dislike this book?
Here’s two easy ways to contribute towards Inspiring Minds, just through shopping you’re doing!
First, do you, your family, or your friends shop at Eastside Marketplace? Your receipts can be donated to Inspiring Minds and contribute toward fundraising for our programs and events! Please mail or drop off your Eastside Marketplace receipts to our office at 763 Westminster St, Providence RI 02903 – helping the students of Providence has never been easier!
Secondly, by doing your normal Amazon shopping through the Inspiring Minds Amazon Smile page, a portion of what you spend will be automatically donated to our organization at no cost to you!
All you have to do is designate the organization you want to donate to as Inspiring Minds, and then remember to go to Amazon Smile each time you shop!
We asked our volunteers to tell us the most inspiring moment they had while tutoring last semester and were touched by all the heartwarming responses. Here are some of our favorites 🙂
“Seeing the smiles on the student’s faces when I walk in the classroom, and when a girl asked me to stay the whole year.”
“When my students feel confident enough to raise their hand to answer the question, and to know that they did the work on their own. I also love when they ask me when I will be back next, because that makes me think that they enjoy my presence and I am making a difference.”
“It is always rewarding when a student finally understands a concept and you can see everything sort of “click” in their heads, like the metaphorical light bulb has been turned on, and everything makes sense. I also saw one of my students from two years ago during dismissal, and she told me that she remembered me. Knowing that I was able to make such an impact on a little girl that I only saw for a few minutes each week two years ago was so special.”
“When the students that I tutor express to me how much I’ve helped them.”
Brittany St. Pierre
“When I was teaching a young boy the difference between upper and lower case letters, and when he understood and had the biggest smile on his face.”
“I will do anything I can do to help the day be special for the children. I am captured by their enthusiasm and their happiness at achievement. It is infectious.”
Cristian Cepeda can actually recall the first day he ever came to Inspiring Minds – February 13, 2014 – because it was the date of a chess tournament held here in the Tech Center. After speaking that day with Carlos Lopez, our Youth Center Assistant, Cristian eventually decided to return to the Tech Center, eventually becoming a regular in-office volunteer!
We are lucky to be joined almost every day by Cristian, and he provides valuable assistance to students and staff alike – from tutoring, to helping make sure the Tech Center runs smoothly, to assisting with office mailings, Cristian can be found doing a little bit of everything here at Inspiring Minds!
He is also heavily involved in Classical High School’s chess club and can regularly be found helping there during chess season; Cristian says that he believes practicing and playing chess helps develop one’s attention, discipline, memory, logic, and problem-solving (among many other skills), and he sees students involved in the chess club build these skills while involved in the club.
Cristian credits a lot of his inspiration to volunteer to his own mentor in high-school, whom he saw often in chess club and homeroom and who helped him be able to participate in additional chess activities outside of school. After acknowledging the impact this teacher had on him, Cristian adds, “I kind of want to do that for everyone else.”
We’re floored to have such an inspiring, kind, and helpful individual volunteer in our office with us. Join our team as we thank him for all he does for Providence students!
Erin Curtin and Megan Farrell have been volunteering with us as literacy development tutors for a year and a half at Kennedy Elementary School! Both young women attend Providence College with dreams of becoming teachers one day, and co-founded the Providence College Education Club in order to connect PC students with opportunities to volunteer in education. When asked how she got involved in volunteering initially, Erin adds “that as students with the privilege of going to college, it is our duty to give back.” Amazingly, the club has grown from only the two founding members to over 31 volunteers this semester!
As education majors at PC, volunteering has helped both Erin and Megan develop their skills as future teachers, and both feel that volunteering at the school is the highlight of their weeks! Though it can be easy to show up at her school on Monday mornings in a bad mood, Megan says that the students “always have a way of brightening my day” and that it’s easy to leave happy “because you can feel that you made a difference.”
Both Erin and Megan agree – one of the most valuable things they can give to the students in their classrooms is their attention. From students who are far behind in the curriculum to those who need motivation and guidance to succeed, having a volunteer in a classroom makes a world of difference!
We are so inspired by these two volunteers – not only by what they give individually as volunteers to our community, but also for their drive and dedication in creating the Education Club and coordinating its growth and partnership with Inspiring Minds!